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MER UK – Maximising Economic Recovery

The MER UK Strategy came into force on 18 March 2016

Its Central Obligation states that “relevant persons must take the steps necessary to secure that the maximum value of economically recoverable petroleum is recovered from the strata beneath UK waters.”

It is widely acknowledged that for a mature basin such as the North Sea, success in polymer Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) has the potential to increase recovery, extend field life, create and maintain jobs, help stimulate field redevelopments and defer decommissioning activities

With the support of the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre & Heriot Watt University, Phoenix RDS has developed a system of technologies for Polymer Flood Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), that can enable a 12% increase in incremental oil recovery efficiency compared to current polymer flooding methods.

Our process increases recovery efficiency and reduces polymer volumes required, reducing cost and increasing asset value. This is achieved using our ‘polymer friendly’ outflow control device (OFCD) design and reservoir modelling algorithms. 

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Imperatives for Optimal Polymer Flood

  1. Ensure Polymer is injected in the correct place – enabling sweep conformance control

  2. Maintaining the optimum polymer properties


  • FCD (Flow Control Device) completions can aid conformance control

Challenge – Current designs of FCD’s damage the polymer & reduce the viscosity

  1. Alters the mobility ratio between the polymer and the oil

  2. Reduces the effectiveness of the sweep and impairs sweep conformance

  3. Results in ‘coning’ or ‘fingering’ patterns

  4. Large volumes of oil-saturated rock are bypassed - oil is not recovered


  1. More polymer is required to maintain sweep effectiveness

  2. High project CAPEX & OPEX

  3. High hurdle rate lowers willingness to utilise polymer EOR

  • There is a need for FCD’s which maintain the polymer properties



Phoenix RDS in conjunction with Heriot Watt University has developed innovative technologies to address and overcome these polymer flood challenges & deliver increased recovery factors

  1. Innovative EOR workflows and optimization routines. Defines optimum Field Development Plan

  2. Proprietary 'polymer friendly' Flow Control Devices (FCD's), resulting in a sweep conformance that maintains optimum polymer properties

The Phoenix RDS IOR / EOR technologies can be applied to optimizing both waterflood and polymer flood, field development plans, to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and conformance of the sweep.


This results in less bypassed oil and increased recover factors and importantly can eliminate premature water breakthrough.


Components of Phoenix RDS EOR Technologies

Optimised Efficient Reservoir Sweep Delivery

The application of the Phoenix RDS IOR / EOR optimisation workflows in combination with currently available downhole Flow Control Devices (FCD’s) has shown potential to deliver 5% incremental oil recovery.

The application of Phoenix RDS new ‘polymer friendly’ FCD’s, can increase this recovery to 12%. Each of these applications would lead to significant increases in the value of assets.

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